12 May A Tour of the Financial Excellence Podcast Studio
We’ve been getting some feedback on the podcast and a few questions here or there asking about the recording equipment and the studio setup. So I thought I would take a moment to give a quick tour of our podcast studio. Any of our clients who meet with us in our office get the 2-minute tour, but most of our listeners don’t get to see the inside of the studio. Plus, there are a fair number of financial coaches and business owners out there who are thinking about starting their own podcast, so I thought it would be beneficial to share what our setup looks like and show how easy it is to get involved in podcasting.
So get ready for a short tour of the studio. And when I say short, I mean short. This really won’t take long! It’s like one of those amusement park rides where you wait in line for hours and the ride’s over in 30 seconds.
If you haven’t already figured out from listening to our show, our studio and office are one and the same. We don’t have a lot of fancy equipment (yet) and we don’t have a lot of room either. We have the table where I meet with my clients (an old kitchen table) and a tv tray. That’s pretty much it. We needed to be flexible and have the ability to pack up the show quickly so we could record at a remote location or move the operation home, which we’ve had to do on several occasions.
I started out with a microphone headset and quickly realized it would be difficult to have guests on the show with that microphone. So we looked into a mixer board and additional microphones. Man, is there some expensive recording equipment out there. After shopping around for the best deal, we settled on the Technical Pro PM-22 Podcasting set. It’s nothing fancy but it works. It’s that little silver box behind my microphone in the center of the table. [amazon-product align=”right”]B002UD53GG[/amazon-product]
Ever since then Janelle has done the show with me and we’ve had a blast recording every week. But we sometimes need the opinion of someone else to round out the show. When we wanted to start having guests record with us, we decided to use Skype and remotely bring the guests in. We tried a few different methods to get a third person in the studio, and they didn’t work very well (see episode 44). I think we have that solved now, but we haven’t had another guest in the studio yet to try out my theories!
We use two laptops to record the show. Janelle’s laptop runs Audacity, the free mixing & editing program. The monitor in the middle of the table is an external monitor so I can see Janelle’s screen. I use my laptop to read emails, check the internet, and pipe sound effects into Janelle’s computer. If it sounds hokie, it sort of is, but it works. Our next major purchase will be a digital recorder so we can record directly into the device instead of into Audacity. It’s mostly for convenience because we’ve had several shows that we finished recording and Audacity crashed, causing us to re-do the whole show.
My favorite piece of equipment by far is the box from my old clock radio. It sits under my microphone so I can speak directly into the mic without having to slouch. Crude, yet effective. I love it! (Janelle doesn’t need a box for her microphone ’cause she’s vertically challenged).
We did put some effort into sound quality for the show. We have some large windows in the office/studio and there’s a busy road right outside the windows. So we built some sound tiles out of some scrap wood, some salvaged fabric, and some insulation. They help, but we also have some acoustic tiles in the ceiling, which help even more to reduce noise and echoes in the room.
Well, that’s about it. It takes longer to read this post than it does to show you the studio. But that’s ok, because I wanted you to see how simple it can be to set up and run a podcast. Podcasting has helped our marketing efforts a lot, but more importantly it’s helped a lot of people with their finances for free. There’s nothing like reaching out and sharing a message with hundreds of people each week, knowing that it’s making a difference in their lives. So if you’ve been thinking about hosting your own show, what are you waiting for? Don’t wait for the best equipment or the perfect timing. Just go out there and get it started!